Saturday, April 12, 2008

The "Ideal" and the "Real" about Soul Mates

Is the ideal about soul mates helping us to get better relationships and make better choices in potential mates or is the idea of "the ideal" an excuse to keep us from not being in a relationship?

The new relationship buzz phrase is "soul mates." Everyone is talking about them and millions of singles everywhere are in the dating trenches hoping to find their soul mate.

It seems that singles today have their soul mate radar on. You go on a date and there's unbelievable passion. What goes through your head? If there were a cartoon bubble above you revealing your thought, the inside of the bubble would probably read, "I've never felt this way before, she or he must be my soul mate."

Or perhaps the date goes like this. The two of you are having dinner and you are both lingering over after dinner cappuccinos. The conversation is just flowing and it's a magical evening. The bubble over the guy's head reads, "She gets me. She really gets me. She must be my soul mate." Or, the bubble over the gal's head reads, "He listens. He makes me laugh. He's interesting and he's really interested in me and what I have to say. I feel that special connection. He must be my soul mate."

We look for a sign, almost any sign that this other person could be the "one" who will finally complete us. Some of us so desperately want to fall in love, and have "that loving feeling" of being with a soul mate, that we con or delude ourselves into believing what we so desperately want to believe. We want to believe that we have found our missing piece so we will be whole. We think that our soul mate is that person who will complete us.

And so we go into the relationship, expecting the other person to complete us. We give our partner attributes that, in fantasy they definitely have, but in reality, they may or may not possess. We want to make our fantasy real and when it's not…when our partner does something wrong or doesn't quite live up to our romantic expectations (which of course are usually unrealistic), we say, "this relationship isn't working" and move on.

Do you think that maybe we have become too picky? That we dismiss potential partners without really getting to know them and seeing if they could be the right partner because we're so focused on this trendy notion of finding "our soul mate?"

Let me clue you in to something. There isn't just one right partner for you. If you really believe that there is one and only one right partner who measures up to your "ideal," then you're always going to be dissatisfied, no matter who you are with. No one can possibly measure up completely to the picture you have in your mind. The reason is that your ideal man or woman is a dream and the person who could be standing in front of you (if you let him or her in) is real and made of flesh. Potential mates and even soul mates are always so readily apparent.

I'm not telling you to lower your standards and settle. Rather, I'm suggesting that you really open yourself to love, loving someone and being loved. And when you do that, sometimes you'll attract someone even better than you imagined.

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